Sunday, October 17, 2010


it’s all about your perspective. your perspective defines how you view situations, events, and even people; and the way we view those situations, events or people usually determines how we act in response. perspectives can be positive or negative—the choice is ours. the exciting thing is that we have the opportunity to look for the good in people and situations, rather than so easily pointing out the bad. now you might be sitting there wondering why i am babbling on about perspective; the simple response is that i want you to know what God has been teaching me as of late. this journey that i am on, this new place that i now live, and these people that i encounter challenge my perspective daily, and more often than not it is unintentional on their part. i want to look at these situations and people through the eyes of Jesus, being sensitive to how He would desire for me to act in response. it can be easy to think of all that i miss back home—family, friends, easy accessibility to things, and i hate to admit it, but sometimes material things. there have been times when i have thought negatively about certain situations that have transpired and i’m ashamed of this. but even in my short time here, i have already learned that there are blessings here that i couldn’t share in if i were still home. if i just take a step back and look at the lives of these people here, my students in particular, i’m reminded that i have nothing to complain about, but rather so many reasons to display a grateful heart. the people i so frequently interact with exude with happiness and joy. this joy comes from their positive perspective on life, and in many cases, the joy stems from the blessings that God is showering upon them because of their faithfulness to Him. God can be glorified when i respond in ways that are pleasing to His sight, and i pray that i continually make this a priority—seeing each day, each situation, each person, with a perspective that reflects the character of Jesus.

this week i have taken on a new responsibility of tutoring a university student named kidane. he graduated from the school here 3 years ago and the government decided that if he wanted to continue on with his education at the university level, he must study law. realizing the value of furthering his education, kidane agreed to this, despite the fact that ever since he was a young boy his heart’s desire has been to be a doctor. with 3 years of law now complete, that desire still resonates deep within him—he wants to be a doctor “wherever the need is greatest” (in his words). clearly i am not the person to assist him with biology, chemistry, physics, etc, but there are a couple areas that i’m blessed to tutor him in. the first would be enhancing his computer abilities. we are using programs such as microsoft excel, powerpoint, and word and taking the time to add to his repertoire of knowledge in each of these areas. he also is furthering his typing skills using mavis beacon. in addition to computer usage, i am helping him prepare and study for the SAT. with his goal of attending medical school in the united states, it’s necessary for him to take this test in the near future. we are talking through each section of the test and working through many practice problems to build confidence within him. kidane is an extremely capable, motivated, and positive young man. his english abilities are quite strong and he wants to keep improving. he naturally desires to help others and his love and fervor for Jesus exude from his very being. i know that kidane would greatly appreciate your prayers as he pursues this goal of going to medical school and becoming a doctor, after all, “nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).

get ready for this—in addition to this new responsibility of tutoring, i am now the information technology (aka computer) teacher for grade 11 and 12 students! who would have thought i would get the privilege of teaching english and computer skills? ☺ the school is blessed to have a computer lab with around 12 laptops and 8-9 desktops and they have been looking for someone to fill this position so i figured, why not go for it? i am excited for this opportunity to pass on some of my computer knowledge to these high schoolers, and i’m especially looking forward to working with these older students. i’ll be sure to keep you posted!

i have given myself quite the task this weekend—looking through all 180 or so notebooks from my grade 3 students. i collected their notebooks on friday and will be looking through each one to note the students’ progress, understanding, and lack of understanding. yes, it will be time consuming but i’m looking forward to seeing what concepts they are grasping and what ones they are not, as well as hopefully learning some more names in the process!

things i’ve discovered...

- i counted 95 students in my 4A class this week. that’s almost 100 students in one classroom. turns out that in 3 of my 4 classes I have 93+ students in each. and thought 80 students was a lot. whoa dang.

- there are pros and cons to this change in “seasons” we have here: pros—beautiful sunny, warm weather daily (mid to upper 70s would be my guesstimate); cons—flys are everywhere. and i hear it only gets worse...

- at the end of grade 8, all students must take the national exam (in english). if they do not pass, they cannot continue on to grade 9.

- at the end of grade 10, another national exam (in english) is given that is much like the ACT or SAT. if they do not pass, they cannot continue on to grade 11, meaning that they will not be able to attend a university in the future. students can try and retake the test, but they have to come up with the money to pay for it.

- the government determines what you will major in at the university level. after you have taken your grade 12 exam, they examine your scores and decide what they want you to study. more often than not students get placed in a major that is drastically different from their true passion.

- getting 9+ hrs of sleep each night is a beautiful thing. yay for bedtime around 9:30-10pm!

- i really enjoy cabbage. and picking pea pods off the bush—delicious afternoon snack.

- walking halfway to butajira (nearest town that has internet access) is actually rather pleasant. the bus broke down on our way so we ended up walking the remaining 4 miles. yay for some good saturday morning exercise ☺

marta and deme have arrived from the states safe and sound! i’m so happy to have them back, as are countless others ☺

please pray...
- for all the workers here at PM...those who work in the kitchen, the gardeners, the construction crew, the basket weavers, the cattle herders, the launderers, the bead makers, and the office staff. may they sense appreciation from others and experience the love and mercy of Jesus.

- for all the teachers and staff at the school...may they be the hands and feet of Jesus to each one of their students

- for all those on staff at the hospital...may they be reminded that Jesus is the Great Physician

- that I would continue to learn what it means to serve sacrificially as i see God grow bigger in my eyes.

something to consider...

“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” –John Piper

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